Reformists within the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have made revelations of a rift within the Party which is threatening to weaken its stronghold in the East.

Several stalwarts of the SLMC including its General Secretary, Hassen Ali and Chairman, Basheer Segu Dawood have called for an overhaul of the Party structure and its constitution, alleging that the current leadership was adopting a dictatorial approach.

In addition, a section of the Party has also urged the high command of the SLMC to probe allegations levelled against the Party Leader, Rauff Hakeem, of misappropriating Party assets.

The animosity between Dawood and Hakeem began when the former sought explanations,  pertaining to the alleged misappropriation of property that belonged to the Party. Dawood in a letter had sought Hakeem’s response to which the latter had responded during the Party high command’s meeting on Tuesday (23).

Dawood speaking to Nation said that he was not satisfied with the response and had requested for further explanations when he was obstructed by those loyal to Hakeem. “I was not allowed to speak. This was a planned attempt. The meeting ended inconclusively,” he said. “The SLMC has divided into two camps over this issue. Therefore, the Leader is not in complete control of the Party,” Dawood claimed.

Ali said that a change in the Party structure was essential if democracy was to be ensured within the Party.  Hakeem and the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province were not available for comment.